MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fire officials in Hibbing say none of the four people who they were removed from a house on fire early Tuesday morning had a pulse when they got there. Three of the victims did not survive, and a fourth is in critical condition.
According to the Hibbing Fire Department, fire crews were dispatched at 1:37 a.m. on the report of a house on fire, located on the 200 block of 42nd Street East. While en route, crews heard that there was a heavy fire in the back of the house and that there were people trapped inside.
Upon arrival, crews found one juvenile victim who was already outside the home and in stable condition. Rescue tactics were immediately deployed to retrieve the other victims.
By 1:53 a.m., a rescue team removed four victims – two adults and two juveniles – from the house. None of the four had a pulse or were breathing at the time of their removal.
The two juvenile victims were resuscitated by fire crews and taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Later on Tuesday, an official with the Hibbing Fire Department updated that one of those two children died as a result of their injuries. The other one was most recently listed in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Both adults did not survive. The couple was later identified as Steven and Patricia Gillitzer.
The other child who was outside the house was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. That child is expected to be released by the end of the day.
The fire was declared out at 4:39 a.m. with the house being a total loss. An investigation into the fire is ongoing. Fire crews battled the fire in double-digit below zero temperatures.
“This is a heavy day for the Hibbing Fire Department and we send our condolences to the family of this terrible tragedy. Please take the extra time today to ensure your smoke alarms are working and that you safeguard your home of fire hazards,” the fire department said.